Music Web International: outstanding.
The music of Karin Rehnqvist has been described as “simultaneously radically new and very old.” This quality is the result of her interest in very different musical traditions: the modernist, constructivist approach to composition as represented by Brian Ferneyhough, with whom she studied, and the Swedish folk music tradition. One source of inspiration is an ancient vocal technique known as kulning, used by women herders to gather their flocks across great distances. Another is the use of micro intervals in traditional music. These and other features come to the fore on this portrait CD, where works from the past seven years have been collected: vocal and instrumental, chamber and orchestral. All of the works are being performed by the musicians and ensembles for whom they were conceived: with his trademark commitment Martin Fröst interprets the clarinet concerto On a Distant Shore and the Adolf Fredrik’s Girls Choir enter into the spirit of I himmelen (In Heaven’s Hall), Rehnqvist’s reinterpretation of a folk chorale. In the main orchestral work, Arktis, Arktis!, written after the composer’s participation in a polar expedition, the Swedish Chamber Orchestra paints arctic landscapes and impressions, and the eminent young ensemble Kungsbacka Piano Trio – for the first time on BIS – renders Beginning, commissioned for them by BBC in 2003. 70 minutes of fascinating music from a fascinating composer whose previous disc on BIS (Sun Song, BIS-CD-996) caused the reviewer in Gramophone to recommend it “very, very strongly”.